VIDEO: CNMI Governor Fitial Signs Shark Fining Ban Into Law

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Guam – Gov. Benigno R. Fitial yesterday signed a bill making it illegal to possess, sell, or distribute shark fins in the CNMI.

The new law, introduced by Rep. Diego Benavente, makes the Commonwealth the first U.S. territory to ban shark-finning.

Persons found in violation of the new law may be fined not less than $5,000 but not more than $30,000, and/or imprisoned for not more than six months.

It, however, allows catching of sharks for subsistence or non-commercial purposes.

Fitial said it is his hope that the new law would also inspire other island nations and countries to pass their own shark protection laws.

He added that this early, he has already received inquiries from a Hong Kong-based entity planning to come to the CNMI for eco-tourism, as a result of the anti-shark fin law.

The Commonwealth’s anti-shark-finning law was inspired by Hawaii. The CNMI, in turn, inspired Guam to also introduce a similar bill.